The UM scientists experimentally simulated catch-and-release fishing on five shark species – hammerhead, blacktip, bull, lemon and tiger sharks – in South Florida and Bahamian waters. Researchers took blood samples to examine stress, including pH, carbon dioxide and lactate levels, conducted reflex tests, as well as used satellite tags to look at their post-release survival. Fighting on a fishing line significantly affected the blood lactate levels of sharks, similar to what happens to humans during intense or exhaustive physical exercise, which has been linked to mortality in many species of fish. The study revealed that even with minimal degrees of fighting on a fishing line, hammerhead exhibited the highest levels of lactic acid build of all species studied, followed by blacktip, bull, lemon and tiger sharks. Tagging results also suggested that, after release, hammerheads were also prone to delayed mortality.